PhD project

Efficient removal of nano-plastics from water through enhanced coagulation

Elorm Obotey Ezugbe (PhD Candidate), Wiebe de Vos (promotor), Saskia Lindhoud (co-promotor), Martijn Wagterveld (Wetsus supervisor)

Duration: 2022-2026

EMPOWER - European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 10103432
Wetsus, as part of the theme: advanced coagulation for nanoparticles

Removal of nano-plastics from water is highly challenging due to their small and variable sizes. While processes such as membrane and adsorption technologies can remove these plastic particles from water, their adoption comes at extra costs to existing water treatment facilities. It would be much more efficient to induce an enhanced coagulation of the smallest nano-plastics, to bring them into a size range where easy removal becomes possible without the need for additional treatment steps.

Key words
Nano-plastics, colloids, enhanced coagulation, coagulants, polyelectrolytes

Technological challenges
Conventional coagulation/flocculation technologies have been optimized towards the removal of larger sized particles from water, while smaller sized ones
(1-100 nm), in most cases, escape the coagulation/flocculation stage. To solve this problem an enhanced coagulation/flocculation approach can be developed. This process involves the improvement in conditions of coagulation/flocculation and/or development of novel coagulation aids to improve the settleability of the nano-plastics.

Research goals

              Efficient removal of nano-plastics from water through enhanced coagulation